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tv   [untitled]    June 15, 2010 10:30pm-11:00pm EDT

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inclldes walruses. your plan has them on page 11. how did you respond to having them in your plan? >> respond in a similar fashion. the plans are put together in response to guidelines from the minerals management service. >> do you agree that it is an embarrasssent to have a walruses a response plan plan forrthe gulf of mexico? >> i agree it is not appropriate to include for that region. >> in your response plan as well as some of the other plans, including conoco-phillips, there is a doctor referred to as an
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expert, a technical person. he died four years before the plan was actually filed. how can you justify, in response plan, having a person who has been dead for four years? >> it is, but let me point out that he is part of the university of miami's marine mammal research division which has been part of the preparation of this plan for many years. the fact thaa he died does not mean it that his work and the importance of his work died with him. >> there are many individuals who worked with him -- >> i appreciate that. it is 2010. it just seems to me that when you include his phone number in your plan for a response, that you have not taken this
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responsibility seriously. the same is true for you. is it an embarrassment to conoc o-phillips to have this as a part of your plan? >> the plants need to be updated more frequently.. -- the plants need to be updated more frequently. audit -- the plans need to be updated more frequently. obviously it is an embarrassment. >> it seems that the only technology youuare relying on is a xerox machine to put together your response plans. there was no effort to make sure that if the catastrophe occurred, you would be able to respond. and you, mr. mckay, in the first week, your company developed a document that showed that your range of possibilities for an accident was 1000 to 14,000
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barrels per day, and yet your company continually in the first week lowball the the number and said that it was only 1,000 barrels per day. you are now estimating that it could be upwards of 40,000 barrels per day, and you are today capturing 15,000 barrels per day of oil from that gusher. are you ready to apologize to the american people for getting that number is so wrong, having been so incompetent or deceptive to the american people and that proper preparations were not put in place because of bp's low balling of the actual amount of oil that was going into the gulf of mexico? >> first, just to be clear, those were unified area command estimates. they came from the 5,000 barrels
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per day was an estimate done on april 26th byynoaa. our input after that was a range of 1000 to 14,000 barrels per day. our best estimate was above 5,000 barrels per day. the unified area estimate was $5,000 per day. we stuck with that. information -- the unified area command estimate was 5,000 barrels per day. we stuck with that. information has come out since -- >> the bonus, the burden, the responsiiility is on a your shoulders. you had that technology. you were able, through your expertise, to make that determination. i believe is either deliberate deception or gross incompetence, because ultimately, the amount
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of boom, skimmers, rescue of wildlife, testing for the health of the workers, it was all dependent on how large this bill was. are you ready to apologize for getting that number so grossly wrong that the capacity of federal and state governments to put in place a response was delayed because you did not do the job? >> i would just reiterate what was said which is and that those were unified area command estimates. >> and they were your cameras at the bottom of the ocean. >> that is true. >> you got it wrong. your company got it wrong. bp got it wrong. >> we have provided every bit of
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data we got into the unified area command. with us the government, the national oceanic and atmospheric institute and the coast guard to help us. >> on the day that you are ready to apologize, that is the day we can begin o move forward and put together the kinds of plants that make sure this never happens again. it was a bp's spell, but it was america's ocean. we need you to admit that you knew or should have known, very early on and that this was not a spill of 01 thousand or 5,000 barrels per day. de rigueur cameras, your technology, your expertise -- they were your cameras, your technology, your expertise and that the american people were relying on, and you got it wrong either to limit your liability or out of incompetence. but the impact on this region of and the country is profound
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and will last for a generation. please, one final chance. apologize for getting that number of wrong. >> we are sorry for everything the gulf coast s going through. we are sorry for that and that spill. we have provided every bit of information that we have to unified command and to thh scientist who are working on this and fulltime since the day you're talking about. we do not have the technology to measure that. that is still under evaluation. >> continue to believe thaa bp is still more interested in its liability than it is of the livability of the gulf. this hearing is just one further indication of that. my time is expired. let me recognize the gentleman from michigan. >> thank you. mr. mckay, you indicated that bp is looking to pay all damages. are you willing to put into an escrow account enough money to pay for such damages as might be
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expected? >> we have been very clear from day one that we as the responsible party will be responsible for living up to the obligations of open-90. i cannot comment on whhthee there will be a fund set aside or not. we have made it clear that the company stands behind these commitments. with a strong balance sheet and a strong company, and we intend to stand behind those. i cannot commit to a one way or another whether a fund would assert that. >> so that is and know its this point. >> i cannot comment yes or no. >> why not? the buck stops there. >> what we have said is that we will honor all legitimate claims. the full company stands behind that. >> have you asked the feeeral government for any help that you have not received? >> not that i know of. >> what grade would you give the administration in its effort to
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stop the spill? >> we have been cooperating in every way we know how. i cannot give a grade. this has been a unified command that we have participated in with many government gencies and industries. we have 150 companies working on this. i cannot comment on a great of individual components of that. >> of your counterparts at the table, have any of them -- are you working with any of them to try to stop the leak? >> yes, all of these companies have been tremendously supportive in helping us. >> a question for all of you. you drill across the world. which countty has the toughest regulations that enforce those regulations, and if that country gets an a, where would you put the u.s. for enforcement by the
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mms. >> i think the united states and then the north sea countries have the most mature regulatory structure because that is where it has taken place along this. those -- has taken place above longest. for exxon, believe to be is the best practice and apply it globally. it does not matter where you are. you have a well controlled incident, you need to use the best you have everywhere. we do not make some distinction that i will cut a corner in this country because i can. >> i know in the north sea when they had an accident in 1988 and 100 -- 180 people were injured.
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changes were made to split the enforcement agency, similar to what the administration is now proposing with the mms. that is a better structure? >> i do not know if the structure is as important as the process by which the oversight occurs. >> i am not sure i can grade all of the differences. >> one model should we be looking at? >> we start with the regulations in each country and then we apply our standards on top of those regulations. they are very similar. the application of our processes and procedures are very similar in all of the couutries. where there are particular country, we of course comply with those. our view is certainly that the u.s. and u.k. have very high standards.
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>> of the greatest part of our experience and operation has been in the north sea, particularly in norway and the united kingdom. in norway and the united kingdom, they have developed some of the best practices that are applicable and used around the world. that is based on our experience for several decades. those best practices and oversight review have been applied and used in the industry and other places of the world. i would say they rank right at the top in terms of capability and development of practices. >> similar answer in that i think the u.s. does have one of the most comprehensive set of regulations for the industry in theeworld. you can find other areas where a particular regulation may be more stringent than what you see in the u.s., but the important part for us as a company goes back to what i called our global
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standards, how we do things everywhere. those often exceed the regulations in any country. >> i would agree with that. the standards are similar ii many places, with some specific differences, but the u.s. has a strong set of standards. i would add a comment that i think, learning what we are learning here, augmenting some of those standards would be helpful. >> here time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. waxman. >> yesterday, chairman stupak and i sent a letter to tell me his word -- to tell me his word -- tony hayward that describes a series of decisions that bp made it that seemed to increase the risk of catastrophic blow out. i would like to ask each of you whether you think mistakes were
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made by bp. >> in reviewing the letter that you both cent, it appears clear to me that a number of design standards were not followed. >> if i could come quickly, you phink that they made mistakes. the answer you would give it yes.d be west depic >> we would not have drilled a well the way they did. >> we have just had a chance to look at your letter. our experts are taking a look at it. i have read it myself. from what i have seen, it is consistent with what the task force found. we have an opportunity to raise the bar, if you will, on standards in the industry, and it appears from your letter that not all standards that we would recommend or that we would
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employ were in place. >> do any of you disagree with the statement that bp made mistakes? >> is not a disagreement, it is just a confirmation that we do not have all of the information. from the information in your letter and what we know about the well, i would add a similar statement the we would not set up a well in a similar way. >> you are quoted as saying that this incident was preventable. what mistakes and did bp make that you will not have made? >> first, we would say that as we look at this incident, we need to let the investigation run its course. what we have done is, since the pirst days of this investigation and this accident, we have participated in the joint industry task force -- >> you were quoted as saying ttat this incident was
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preventable. what would you have done differently tooprevent the disaster that we have now encountered? >> there are several areas that appear, based on the information from our task force that we have been able to gather, that suggest thht practices we would not have put in place were employed here. >> specifically? >> of the casing design and mechanical barriers are different than what we would have used. >> the head of chevron's well production unit said that chevron uses a safer well- designed. can you tell us why chevron's well-designed is better than at bp's. >> we have standards that we apply on top of what we think are effective procedures that would have prevented this incident. >> in the well design, bp could
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have lowered a full string of casing from the top of the well to the bottom well. or it could have lowered aligning into the casing already in the well. bp plan review recommended against the faltering casing because it would have made a ceiling in the ell-head of the only barrier to cast head -- to gas had a blowout. >> we would not have run afoul string. >> you made a statement that what you do know is that when you properly designed a well, a anticipated.er risks must be properly inspected and maintain equipment, trained operators, and a focus n safe operations
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and risk-management would prevent a tragic incident such as the one in the gulf of mexico today from occurring. tell us what you would have done differently, and please be specific. >> it would have been a different well-designed. we would have run a liner. we would have used a different segment formulation. integrity. we would have had the lot and seal rinn in place before proceeding. leading up to all of that, and this is just based on what has been publicly made available, there were clearly a lot of indications of problems with thii well going on for some time leading up to the final loss of control. why did thooe -- how those were dealt with and why they were not dealt with differently, i do not
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know. we do not have all of the information, so i want to echo what was said. we want to see the full investigation, because we want to understand, was there something else people were looking at that causeddthem to make the decisions they made as opposed to making the decisions that almost any of our drilling operations people would have made differently? >> my time is running out, but let me just make a statement. i feel more confident in these assurances if i did not realize that each of the oil spill responses and plants from the companies are virtually identical to bp's. you say you would have done things differently. i would think, certainly in retrospect that is the mate - that is the statement you would make. but the record would not support that other companies here today have been more prepared than the bp. their plans oo the same -- their
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plans weee the same. i thank you for your testimony, but we really have to learn that these things have to be thought out. thh plant should not just be cookie cutter plans. -- plans should not just because the cutter plans. >> the stakes are much higher and the consequences much more dire, but this reminds me a littte bit about a monday morning call-in radio talk show after the redskins have a blown another one. everybody has an idea of what should have been done, but now that they know what was done and what wasn't done properly, they are much smarter than the coach on the field at the time. it is very easy to second-guess and to point out the problems.
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there is good news and bad ews. the bad news is that i agree with chairman waxman. judgment calls were made that, they were in the improperpened,- judgment. that is bad. but the good news is, and that is what our industry representatives are saying, i think, is that this is preventable. i do not know what the task force is going to recommend, but if the recommendation is that the best practices on these deep wells ught to have these double sleeves, i think we could put that into regulation if we need to. if the best practice is you ought to put the lockout ccller on the well before you do the final segment job. that can be done. if we ought to focus on de- gassing the mud before it is
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recirculated, we can go along with that. these are not huge, technically complex. we just do not know how to solve the particular problem. that is the good news. my first question is to the president of bp america. as the ffderal government asked you to do anything you have said no to? have they proposed any solutions that you have turned down and that in hindsight, if you had just done what you were told to do, the well would not continue to be leaking? >> i do not know of any solutions that have been proposed that we have not done.+ >> ended is bp's resppnsibilitt for the well. i mean, if you are the owner of the well, but in terms of litigation, in terms of cleanup on the beaches, did bp tell the president of the united states that we should not let the
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police -- should not let the people of louisiana go out and build sand berms? >> we are tryinn to work through unified command. decisions for matters like that go through unified command. we agreed that was a unified command decision to go forward. >> are any of you gentlemen here because you were subpoenaed? >>no. >> you are all here voluntarily. to come and answer any questions that this committee has, is that correct? in terms of a bp, the television camera showing the oil, isn't that your television cameras? >> that is the remote operated vehicle camera that is contracted. >> but you are providing in voluntarily. you have not been told by federal law that you have to do know, we agreed with the department of interior and
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others to supply that off the bat. we have responded to a request to open that up to the public and congressional members. >> i want to ask this question to exxon and to chevron. if we were to maintain this so- called temporary moratorium on the deep powder continental -- out to continental -- outer continental shelf, how does that affect your ability to do businees? do you just sit on your hand? >> we redirect our talent to parts of the world where we are allowed to work, and we redirect our equipment elsewhere. this stuff is too expensive to let it sit around. >> what does it cost per day? >> about $1 millioo. >> mr. chevron, do you echo what
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mr. exon just said? >> yes, we have a three right now.riggs outprigs we will edeploy people and rigs if we are unable to put them into service here. >> i am told that the chinese are drilling off the coast of cuba, which means they are drilling off the coast of florida. do any of you have any reason to believe that the chinese companies are any safer than the u.s. companies? >> i cannot speak for those companies. i am sure they are committed to state operations. >> have they done anything more pnnovative than the united states oil companies have? have they led the way in any >> i am not aware of that.? >> ok.
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last question. we have heard a lot in the scientific community about new ideas to -- once you have an oil spill, to insert organisms hat biodegrade it and turn it into non harmful substances. would any of you, -- we want to prevent this bill. -- prevent the spell. if we cannot prevent it, we want to stop it. do any of you know about these organisms? >> i would only comment that, in -peffect, that is part of what e dispersant action does is to reduce the oil to very small then the naturalvthat
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organisms in the marine water are able to break down quickly. these have been tested and are less toxic than a detergent soap which you would flesh down your sink every day. stopt's work together to this spill. figure out a way to prevent it in the future, and keep our industry and our environment safe and growing. >> of the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. >> thank you. gentlemen, yes or no each, if you please. we have seen this document which is in the department of interior's increased safety measures for development and the intercontinental shelf. do any of you have any objections to the recommendations contained
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therein? >> i have looked at the document, and the task force and that we have referred to has significant input into the consideration. as i have looked at specifics of what is in there, there are some areas where i am concerned that there may be an introduction of more risk in an effort to improve the safe operation. they may actually be increesing the risk in some areas. we want to have a thorough discussion with them and others around what risks we are trying to mitigate, and if this is actually going to accomplish that, or if we are actually increasing risks in the operation. i think it is a very good document, a very good start. most of that we would strongly support. a lot of it we are already doing. it is not going to be a difficult compliance issue, but there are some areas that i have concerns about. >> does that, gentlemen,
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generally address your feelings? i noted that this would be of concern to mr. mckay. the deepwater horizon contained a single set of blind shearer rams. these were supposed to stop the flow of gas into the water. out that function. do you support the idea that we >> we agree that the design oft blowout preventers should be re- evaluated based on what we learn here, and that we should consider redundancy. ga

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